Call for Rutland firms to join Christmas appeal

Leicestershire Cares launches its annual Collect for Christmas campaign. Pictured are Leona Harris from Leicestershire Cares, Tony Donovan of Age UK and Katharine Lightbown from Cares EMN-151013-165316001

Leicestershire Cares launches its annual Collect for Christmas campaign. Pictured are Leona Harris from Leicestershire Cares, Tony Donovan of Age UK and Katharine Lightbown from Cares EMN-151013-165316001

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Christmas may still be two months away but businesses in Rutland are being urged to sign up now for a festive appeal.

Businesses across Leicestershire and Rutland are being asked to help demonstrate the spirit of giving is alive and well by backing Leicestershire Cares’ annual Collect for Christmas appeal.

In 2013, 30 businesses signed up and gave toys and donations worth almost £18,900 to be distributed to children by Toys on the Table.

This year Leicestershire Cares is hoping to do even better and the gifts will go to older people living in the area, particularly those at risk of loneliness, and to Age UK’s day centres.

Tony Donovan, executive director of Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland, said: “The calls on our charity to support local older people are increasing at an alarming rate and, in the face of declining public budgets and an ageing population, they will only escalate.

“The support we are being given by the business community through Leicestershire Cares is invaluable and so gratefully received.

“The donations will make a real difference to older people in the local community and help to make Christmas and the winter months easier to manage.”

Gift suggestions for individuals include duvet and pillow sets, cushions, hot water bottles, flasks, gloves, scarf and hat sets, slippers, socks, scarves, handkerchiefs, torches, lap trays, toiletries, notelet sets, mini radios, magnifying glasses and easy grip utensils and cutlery.

Gifts for all the Age UK community centres include toasters, kettles, jigsaws, board games, digital radios and talking books.

Gloucester House in Melton, which welcomes people from Rutland, would like sponsorship for entertainment and small gifts for 90 people to take home after their Christmas party.

Leona Harris, community development coordinator of Leicestershire Cares said: “Every year we are amazed by the enthusiasm of local businesses and their staff who give so generously to make Christmas a special time for people they don’t know but who really do appreciate what they receive.”

Businesses are invited to pledge their support by November 6 by calling 0116 275 6469 or e-mailing katharine@leicestershirecares.co.uk.